Beach and casino in August?
June 18, 2010 2:48 AM   Subscribe

Yay! I'm going on vacation with my amazing awesome brother! Neither of us have done something like this before and we don't really know where to start. We want to travel the first week in August, for 4-5 nights, from Washington DC. I want to be on the beach, but directly, walk outside the room onto the beach on the beach. He wants a good casino there or near by. We were thinking the Caribbean but are open to anything that's an easy flight. A cruise is also a possibility. Our budget is up to $2000 (flights + hotel + preferably food). Where have you been that was beautiful and relaxing and fun? Or else, how did you wade through the plethora of vacation/hotel sites to find exactly what you were looking for? Thank you!
posted by Salamandrous to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Just FYI, most cruise ships have casinos on board.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:08 AM on June 18, 2010

Look into one of the cruises originating in Baltimore. Every ship I've ever been on has a casino, and you'll hit at least a couple of Caribbean beaches depending on which one you choose.

The beauty of embarking/disembarking in Baltimore is that there's no flight involved, you can park close to the terminal, and you'll be on the ship living large within an hour or so of when you leave Washington.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:15 AM on June 18, 2010

Check out USA3000 Airlines. Direct (and cheap!) flights out of Baltimore to Bermuda, Punta Cana, and Cancun.
posted by nineRED at 3:55 AM on June 18, 2010

Years ago we went on cheap package (airfare and hotel) to St. Martin in the Caribbean.

Visiting the Caribbean in the summer is great because most people go there in the winter or early spring, but the weather is not much different in the summer and all the capacity built up to handle the winter influx is begging for customers.

When we went the French side was a bit more funky and good for eating while the Dutch side had all the gambling casinos.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:49 AM on June 18, 2010

You can always go to the FT lauderdale area in florida. The seminole Hard Rock Casino is 10 min or so away and so is the pompano beach raceway casino. You can get a hotel right on the beach AND be an hour or so drive from miami.
posted by majortom1981 at 5:59 AM on June 18, 2010

We always like cruises. They are a good way to get a quick look at several islands. They do have a casino, but if you want to hang at the beach, it’s probably not a very good option. On a 4-5 day cruise, you would probably get 2 or 3 days on land.

As for islands, I agree with the poster above, St. Martin is a great place and more affordable than most. We’ve stayed all over down there and food and incidentals will kill your budget. (Just take what you normally pay and double it.) If you want to save money, you might look at all-inclusives. I think you miss some of the island culture, but they sure make things easy. Oh, and island casinos are not anything like what you see in Las Vegas. They’re usually small and plain. They’re still fun, but different. Atlantis in the Bahamas is the exception.

For website resources, I like for general reviews. It does tend to be somewhat of a bitch fest as even really nice places get bad reviews. I think you’d be better off trying to find a really good travel agent. That’s what I usually do. I usually call mine and say here’s my budget, here’s what I want to do and let them do the work.
posted by iscavenger at 6:46 AM on June 18, 2010

I recommended the Grand Case Beach Club on St. Martin to another Asker and she had a great time. It's on a private beach with a great view over to Anguilla, a walk into town for the best food in the Carib, and there is diving and renting little sailboats. There are casinos on the Dutch side, in Philipsburg and by Simpson Bay. JetBlue flies direct from Reagan to St. Martin.
posted by nicwolff at 7:23 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Punta Cana, DR is wonderful and cheap. I believe my mom got airfare and 8 days/7 nights (all inclusive for food and booze) for about $1700. There are a lot of resorts down there with a variety of price ranges, but most are all-inclusive and amazingly beautiful.
posted by tryniti at 9:15 AM on June 18, 2010

Puerto Rico, specifically San Juan. We stayed in the Conrad which had a casino in it and it was right on the beach.
posted by KB.Boston_implant.By way of NY at 11:54 AM on June 18, 2010

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